In November 2008 the Mazda RX-8 saw a mid-cycle refresh that improved several areas of the cars performance. Structural reinforcements were added with a trapezoidal shock tower brace to help improve the body rigidity. The manual transmissions final-drive-gear ratio was shortened from 4.444 to 4.777 to gain better acceleration, and the rear suspension was tweaked for better handling.
The Renesis II rotary engine saw some improvements as well with a third oil injection port added to each rotor housing that feeds oil to the middle of the rotor facing. A new oil pump was also fitted to provide the flow needed to service the extra ports. The design of the RX-8 was also revised with a more aggressive look at the front and rear of the car. The original was a fairly smooth and rounded affair, so the 2009 face lift saw larger air dams and grille in the front fascia, new front and tail light fixtures, larger exhaust pipes and newly designed wheels.